GISLEBERTUS
(active 1100-1150)

Eve

c. 1130
Stone
Musée Rolin, Autun

This scene representing Eve was originally on the door lintel of the former north transept portal of the Cathedral of Saint-Lazare in Autun.

Eve is sensuous and seductive like no other in Romanesque art. She is presumably also a work of that Gislebertus who signed the tympanum. The figure of Adam has been lost. Supporting only by her right elbow and knees, Eve is moving through the Garden of Eden as if she were the serpent itself. She is looking towards Adam, to whom she is whispering instructions to do what she has just done, using her right hand, holding against her mouth, to amplify what she is saying; her left hand is reaching behind her, in order to pick the apple on a branch which is being bent towards her by the clawed hand of her seducer. The presence of her feminine nudity is heightened further by the anatomically exaggerated way in which her upper body is turned towards the observer.